House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes is, in the parlance of our times, having a moment. After his bizarre, bombshell press conference where he stated that President Trump and his transition team (of which Nunes was a part) had been the subject of “incidental surveillance” between Election and Inauguration Day, according to sources who brought him that information, it soon came about that Congressman Nunes had actually shared that information with the White House before sharing it with his colleagues on the intelligence committee. This was a weird thing to do since the information Nunes had received had reportedly come from…White House sources.
This is all very confusing, so we should consider ourselves lucky to have John Oliver around. On last night’s episode of Last Week Tonight, Oliver gave an overview of Nunes’ actions and ripped the Congressman for his role in what the show has dubbed ‘Stupid Watergate’ (“all the potential consequences of Watergate but everyone involved is really stupid”), and perfectly summarized the baffling series of events:
“To recap, Devin took what appears to be an unnecessary trip to tell what appears to be unimportant news to what may have been the source of the news itself. So what Nunes brought to light has been a bunch of smoke and mirrors as convoluted as it is pointless. Truly, it is the Now You See Me of revelations.”
Oliver closes the segment with footage of Nunes’ Republican Congressional colleague Ted Yoho affirming that everything is all well and good, despite Nunes working on the Trump transition team and later sharing information (that may have originated in the White House) with the White House. As Yoho said, “You gotta keep in mind who he works for, he works for the President, he answers to the President” and not, as MSNBC host Craig Melvin points out, for the constituents of his district. Oliver is apoplectic: “That is literally the whole point of Congress.” Stupid Watergate, indeed.